Once you dive into the world of playing keno, you begin searching for tips and strategies. The usefulness of all tips and strategies in a game decided by random chance is limited. When you find yourself hoping for an edge in this kind of game, you should stop and take a deep breath.
The real magic in playing keno is about how you enjoy the game. There’s a myriad of ways to mix it up. If you don’t like one variation on keno, look for another.
Many keno players don’t realize the game is played all over the world in many venues. You may be used to sitting at a video keno machine in a casino. You can play a variation of the game on a scratch card you walk past in your local convenience store.
The old saying “variety is the spice of life” must be true for keno fans. If you have only played one version of keno thus far in your life, you’re in for a world of new experiences. Here are seven easy tricks to get the most out of keno.
1 – Shop Around for the Best Keno Odds and Prizes
You cannot play every possible variation of keno in the world. There are too many. But many people should be able to play keno in more than one venue, including:
Land-based casinos, video keno
Land-based casinos, keno TV
Government lottery keno drawings
Keno scratch tickets
Every casino can set its own keno rules. They can add progressive prizes or not. They can extend the number of spots available for wagers. Online casinos have the same flexibility. It really depends on where they get their gaming systems from.
Government lottery keno games are usually less flexible. That’s because they’re less focused on turning a big profit than the casinos.
The first thing you should do is see how easy it is for you to find new keno games without going on a world tour. You may have more options available to you than you realize. Each game has its own odds and prizes. Compare their charts and pick the chart you prefer for playing keno online.
2 – Only Play the Middle Spot Games
Anyone studying keno odds charts quickly realizes that the four, five, and six-spot games have the best odds of winning any prize. Some players prefer seven-spot games because the prizes are slightly better.
By limiting the number of spots to play to a small range, it’s easier to manage expectations. There are fewer probabilities to think about. The wagers all cost the same.
To be perfectly honest, there’s no serious hope of winning the jackpot in a 10-spot or 20-spot keno game. Savvy players aren’t looking for millions of dollars. They just want decent prizes.
The middle spot games offer the best risk-reward efficiency. Players are less likely to go broke than in other games and they’re more likely to win a prize than in other games.
3 – Pay for Multiple Drawings in Advance
In casinos, you can buy a “multi-race card.” When you’re playing in government lotteries, they may be called “multiple drawings” or something else.
The idea is simple. You pay for the next “X” games in advance. The venue decides how far in advance you can pay. It’s easier to track losses and winnings and to manage a budget by paying for games in advance.
4 – Change Number Picking Methods No More Than Once Per Month
How you pick your numbers while playing keno really doesn’t matter. The game’s probabilities don’t change.
Some video keno players swear they see patterns in the numbers. And many keno games report “hot” and “cold” numbers. Hot numbers have been drawn more frequently than others in recent games and cold numbers have not been drawn much in recent games.
Video keno machines use random number generators to determine results. These RNGs, as they are known, are considered to be very reliable. Computer experts say the RNGs’ results are “random enough.”
Older video keno machines may have chips whose algorithms have been reverse-engineered. An Eastern European gang used a super-computer a few years back to reverse engineer the RNG algorithms on some slot machines. All things considered, you don’t have a supercomputer or an RNG to study.
Still, if you use a number picking system, stick with it for a few weeks before changing it. This is one of the easiest tricks to get the most out of keno.
5 – Use Odds Tables to Choose the Best Pick Limits
Keno has one of the most complicated processes for computing odds and probabilities. The payout odds in keno are capped, and one of the only ways to increase the payout is to increase the wager.
Because the game offers so many options, the probabilities change from pick level to pick level, and from game variation to game variation. You must study each game’s odds or probabilities chart to find the best wagering conditions.
Since there are 80 numbers to pick from while playing keno, the probability of any one of those numbers being drawn first is 1 in 80. The probability of any of the remaining numbers being drawn second is 1 in 79. After the first 19 numbers have been drawn, the probability of any remaining number being drawn is 1 in 60.
It sounds like the odds are improving, but they aren’t. Just because a keno game allows players to pick 10, 15, or 20 numbers doesn’t mean that’s a good bet. You’re more likely to match only a few of those numbers.
The best way to compute your odds is to say, after 20 numbers have been drawn, any one number out of 80 has a 1 in 4 chance of being included in the winning set.
Any two numbers have a roughly 1 in 16 chance of being included in the winning set. Multiply each ratio by four as you add matching numbers. That gets you close to the correct probability.
Thus, the odds of any five numbers being included in the 20 drawn numbers are about 1 in 1550.
When experienced keno players look at the odds charts, they quickly settle on games like Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6, or Pick 7. They can live with matching three or four of those numbers. They’ll still win decent prizes while playing keno.
6 – Play a Progressive Keno Game for Several Months
Progressive games award random secondary jackpots when players hit certain combinations. Progressive betting is encouraged in slots and keno but not in games like blackjack. If the player is required to contribute to a progressive jackpot, it’s better not to take that bet.
If the progressive jackpot is awarded from the game’s basic wager, then assume the prizes have already been calculated into the win ratio for the game. That’s usually acceptable in slots and keno.
Think of the progressive prize as increasing the prize. Unlike traditional lottery games such as Powerball and Mega Millions, keno jackpots don’t roll over from game to game. The number of players doesn’t affect the size of the prizes either.
Because keno prizes are awarded at a fixed rate, progressive keno games are preferred to standard keno games. Playing progressive games is one of many easy tricks to get the most out of keno.
7 – Set a Loss Limit on Keno
If it’s a gambling game, you will lose often. That’s how it goes. A lucky or skillful gambler knows how to play the game and how to manage a budget. Budget management is what keeps you in the game when things aren’t going your way.
Taking a lesson from the stock market, gamblers do well to set a stop-loss limit for themselves. Regardless of what a player’s bankroll is, if it drops below a certain level, it’s time to take a break.
Playing a simpler game provides a more enjoyable experience for many players. Adding extra steps to the decision-making process is too much work, and games are supposed to be fun!
One of the great things about playing keno is everyone can develop their own style of play. It makes the game more personal and players feel more directly involved.
Lottery-style games take most of the decision-making out of the players’ hands. Keno is the odd man out in this family of games. That, more than anything else, is why the game is so popular.
Although many gambling experts caution people not to expect much from playing keno, casinos and lottery authorities have found the game very popular. Players love the challenge of improving their methods for picking games and numbers.
The complexity of playing keno may be part of its appeal, but players who don’t know the game very well should benefit from keeping things simple.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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